Architectural & Engineering (A&E) Contract Management : A&E Resource Development : Mitigation Costs

Mitigation Costs

Mitigation may be required when a project created negatively affects resources, such as trees or Native American burial site, during the course of a project. The project report usually details mitigation needs for a project and where the mitigation funds come from. Because of the temporary and specialized nature of it, mitigation work can be accomplished using A&E consultants under the rubric of environmental services contracts (see GC 4525 et seq; GC 4529.10 et seq.).

Two examples of mitigation are biological and cultural.

Biological Mitigation

Cultural Mitigation

  • Land banks
  • Habitat restoration
  • Phase III data recovery
  • Remove/replace historic markers

Estimated mitigation costs are added into the cost of the project. Funding for mitigation usually is obtained through Right of Way or Construction Capital dollars. The project workplans also include a support effort related to mitigation. The mitigation monitoring may be funded through Capital Outlay Support (COS) if effort is included in a workplan.

Mitigation flowchart with boxes reading "Environmental identifies mitigation," "Dollar amounts reported to district CSUs," "Funding source by project R/W Capital," "PM initiates CTC vote for Construction Capital Mitigation Costs," "Mitigation list of R/W dollars to R/W," "CSUs develop and initiate contracts and/or task order"

When working with mitigation costs, keep these things in mind:

  • Do not fund mitigation with support dollars. It is considered “double dipping” when costs for mitigation are captured in the Project Report and detailed on the “six-page” estimate and 232 (Capital Outlay Support) dollars are used for mitigation.

    For example, let’s say the project report shows estimated Capital Construction costs at $900,000, and mitigation is estimated at $100,000. The project will be approved for $1 million to account for mitigation costs.

  • Paying for mitigation costs with support dollars will overrun your support budget. Ideally, the project is allotted an amount of support money needed to complete the workload using Caltrans employees and consultants. If mitigation costs were identified as Capital Construction and some of the support money is used for mitigation, there will not be enough funds left to pay for the project support work. You will need to acquire more funds to pay for the budgeted support work, or revise your project scope to stay within the original support budget.

The project manager (PM) is responsible for ensuring that all project costs related to mitigation are detailed in the project documentation and available at the time of mitigation contract or task order execution. Contract managers, functional managers, and task order managers should refer to the PM and Project Report to verify the type of mitigation funding and its availability before proceeding with the contract or task order.

If mitigation needs are discovered after the Project Report phase (PA&ED), the PM may:

  • update the project workplan to include hours in WBS 235 (Mitigate environmental impacts and clean up hazardous waste), or
When WBS 235 hours are included in the project workplan, 232 dollars can be used to fund a mitigation contract or task order.
  • petition the California Transportation Commission for more capital funds to cover the mitigation costs that exceed the programmed project cost.